Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua and President Rodrigo Duterte during courtesy call at Malacañang Palace (PPD photo)

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua went to Malacañang on Thursday, to meet President Rodrigo R. Duterte, ahead of the Permanent court of arbitration ruling on the dispute between China and the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

According to the Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella as he read the statement to the media. Zhao went to the Palace to relay a message coming from Chinese President Xi Jinping saluting Mr. Duterte being elected as the Philippines’ sixteenth (16th) president.

When asked if the South China Sea dispute was discussed, Abella said: “no further information was available.”

Also, present at the meeting was Secretary Perfecto Yasay of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

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Malacanang press corp. / abs-cbn.com

President Duterte on Tuesday said he was hopeful that the decision would be in the Philippines’ favor.  What’s more, in the event that it is, he said he was willing to have a bilateral talk with China.

“If it’s favorable to us, let’s talk. We are not prepared to go to war. War is a dirty word now, but we will proceed accordingly after we shall have the copy of the arbitral judgment,” President Duterte said. – Carl E.

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